Trust & Faith & Doing the Impossible

What is the link between Faith and Trust? Deeper still, what is trust? What isfaith? And how do having/not having these attributes affect us when we are called to swim upstream? I know that faith has been defined as believing in what we cannot see…and trust, as confidence in something or someone. This begs the logical next question(s)…do I have faith? And in what and/or whom do I put my trust? These are questions I have been asking myself of late. Perhaps everyone asks these questions at one point or another in life. For me, I could blame it on empty nest…middle age…menopause…mid-life crisis…pick one. And if that weren’t reason enough, while in this pea soup of life changes, I get tapped on the shoulder to what? NOT to knit booties for my unborn grandchildren--oh no! But to start a safe haven for newly born babies of incarcerated mamas and then open up that home to the recovery of those women when they are released. Hardly commencement into early retirement—maybe early insanity! ;^)

I’m in the middle of a complete life overhaul and I find I have come to a crossroads where I get to decide whether I will renew my contract as keeper of my own life…OR…trust in something bigger than myself. The looming question is: do I have the faith to believe there is more important work for me than what my restricted vision will allow? And likewise, do I trust there is a power greater than I who says I can do this and will help make it happen? How does my day-to-day living reflect whether or not I possess these elusive virtues of faith and trust? What would it look like if my whole being operated from a foundation of trust? How could shifting this one thing make a difference in my life--my vocation? I think these are good questions to reflect upon, but I find they are really too big for me.

Here is the part where I take a big sigh of relief. I DO believe there is a Power/Force greater than myself…in fact, according to my belief, it’s actually a person, with a name, and who, contrary to popular belief, is ridiculously CRAZY about all of us and is for us! It is from HERE my faith is derived and my trust is justified. This person—Jesus—is the one name I can stand behind when the tunnel looks dark, when the going is rough, when there are road blocks, discouraging news, and the wait seems so long. He is the one I believe is working in the background; what will one day look like luck or providence will actually be his own hands at work in my life, and the lives of these women and children caught in the web of the prison system and to converge all this together into something that will breathe life back into broken lives. Recently, I have had a resurgence of good articles and information passionately written about the lives and lots of incarcerated moms trying to parent from afar, and the children they leave behind. These articles left a profound impression on me and reminds me why we do this. One is an article entitled “Prison Born” and the other, “Cribs and Cells: Bringing Up Baby While Doing Time” --about the (surprisingly) controversial subject of prison nurseries for incarcerated women who’ve given birth during their sentence. Other inspiring news is a valiant effort being made by my friend and colleague, Racquel Williams, to stamp out poverty with her “1 Million Moms Off Welfare” campaign. Click the link to learn more and join the effort if you can; it tackles the whole incarceration of women problem from an unsuspecting angle.

Faith and trust, like a lot of things, are easier said than done. HOWEVER, if I think that Pharaoh’s Daughter is on even the most distant horizon, it will be because I was given the gift of faith to believe in the One I cannot see, and trust that what He has led me toward will come to fruition. Maybe one day I will knit booties for my unborn grandchildren…but I suspect those will be squeezed in between the ones I’ll be making in preparation for the next babies who will come through the doors of Pharaoh’s Daughter; so that they and their mothers will find a place of refuge, and strength…and perhaps even the faith and trust they will need to do THEIR impossible! Wishing you illumination as you ask life your own questions, Susan Henson